Signed, titled, and dated “Glenn Ligon 2006 Silver Just Us” along the overlap; further signed “Glenn Ligon” on the reverse.
$200,000 - 300,000
Sold for $242,500
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Provenance Courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles Sale: Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, New Museum Benefit Auction, November 15, 2007, lot 3 Yvon Lambert, New York
Through his clever exploration of social erudition, Glenn Ligon provides audiences with an incisive body of work that combines the aesthetic merit of process painting with the cerebral aspects of conceptual art. The artist has dedicated his prolific practice to creating sonorous works that explore issues surrounding race, language, and identity. Exemplied here in Silver Just Us #5, 2006, Ligon incorporates appropriated literary fragments into his paintings by stenciling charged jokes, excerpts and other resonant passages directly onto the canvas. The text’s primary goal is to formulate language into a tangible apparatus, one on which formal concerns of picture making can be fore-grounded.
Testament to the artist’s indelible importance, President Barack Obama had Ligon’s Black Like Me No. 2, 1992, installed in his private family quarters, solidifying the artist’s significance to this historic era of race relations in America. Along with this distinction, the artist was recently presented with a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As conveyed by journalist Carly Berwick, “One of the most mysterious and magnetic qualities of his work is its capacity to be endlessly reread, its interpretation changing continually over time. This is very different from merely reflecting the era in which it was made. The voices in Ligon’s work sustain disagreement and argue gracefully among themselves. They make virtue of uncertainty.” (C. Berwick, “Stranger in America”, Art in America, 2011)